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Examines the meaning of 'nirvana' and discusses Buddhist utopias, textuality and world history.
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This book presents a new answer to the question: what is nirvana? Part One distinguishes between systematic and narrative thought in the Pali texts of Theravada Buddhism, looking at the place of nirvana in both. Part Two explores other Buddhist utopias and relates Buddhist utopianism to studies of European and American utopian writing. Steven Collins discusses these issues in relation to textuality, world history, and ideology in premodern civilizations, aiming to contribute to a new vision of Buddhist history that integrates the inside and the outside of texts.
1. "This is a fantastic work. It is highly informative, intriguing, and thoroughly researched. I recommend it without reservation for anyone interested in the Pali literature. The only criticism I have is that the author might have made this one colossal work into a few smaller ones. Otherwise, this is an excellent accomplishment." Vanessa Sasson, ARC, the Journal of the Faculty of Religious Studies, McGill University
2. "This major publication belongs in all undergraduate and graduate libraries supporting religious studies programs." John Clifford Holt, Religious Studies Review
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